1
vote
1answer
61 views

Missionary Romanization?

I'm interested in the romanization system, or similar systems to, the one that produced translations such as "Confucius" and "Mencius". These names are very easy for non-Chinese speakers to pronounce. ...
3
votes
1answer
369 views

Comparing 朝 vs. 向 vs. 往

In talking about physical/geographical directions, I'm pretty comfortable using 朝 and 向 and 往 for the meaning of "to" or "toward". But I would be hard put to describe to a Chinese language learner any ...
4
votes
3answers
287 views

Relative clause in Chinese

How do you say "there aren't people I can talk to" ? 没有对他们可以说话的人?or else "the person with whom I had a fight last week is now a friend" and all those sentences that require with/to/etc.?
2
votes
1answer
285 views

How would you translate 细腻 into English?

My Chinese coworkers were describing Korean drama TV shows & said that the actors faces are "细腻" xi4ni4. When I look this up in my dictionary, I get 2 definitions "fine & smooth" or "exquisite"...
3
votes
1answer
417 views

What is the Chinese for “Harbin salad”

There is a dish from Northern China called Harbin salad in English as well as in Russian. I want to find out what it is called in Chinese. Here is a link that describes the dish.
2
votes
3answers
577 views

Proper use of “closet”

I apologize if this is very elementary: I've never heard of closet referred to as 壁橱, only as 衣柜, but the direct translation doesn't seem apropriate. I've also heard 衣柜 used to reference cupboard as ...
2
votes
3answers
248 views

质数 vs 素数​​​​​​​​

质数 and 素数 both mean "prime numbers" in chinese. What's the difference in their nuances and usage?
2
votes
2answers
221 views

How to translate “Muscle Memory” to chinese?

I cannot find a perfect word to describe "记忆". So any one can help me ?
4
votes
3answers
449 views

How would you translate the word '面子'?

I want to describe that a certain action gives you '面子', or that people do things to try and maintain or protect their '面子' but I can't think of an appropriate English word for it.
7
votes
1answer
76 views

黃中 = being employed as an imperial government official/having a career in the imperial government?

Many Chinese clans have a "昭穆", a kind of poem from which each generation of the clan picks a successive character as a prefix to given names, so we can easily identify people from one generation to ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

How do you translate the word 'flight' in the context of a golf ball?

I am trying to describe that the design of a golf ball gives it a good flight (not necessarily the same as distance). This is an article that describes the basics of ball flight in golf. It makes me ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I type the lü for Character Romanization?

I am studying classical Chinese and when I try to type in any words that require the ü it just randomly chooses a character. How do I use the Traditional pinyin entry method on a Mac and get the the ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

What are the characters on this image, and what do they translate to?

Here is the image in question: http://i.imgur.com/e4bPJv6.gif Thank you for your time!
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Mixing of 你 and 您 a stylistic device?

I found this text on the ubuntu.com website. There are what seems to be 2 different levels of politeness mixed together. Or is this a stylistic device? 下载并安装Ubuntu桌面操作系统,你 只需要一张空白的光盘或U盘。无论 您 ...
7
votes
3answers
518 views

What's the main difference between 为 and 是?

It seems like both 为 and 是 mean "to be". In which cases is one used but not the other? Is it something like the difference between "estar" and "ser" in Spanish and Portuguese? (In the sense that one ...
-1
votes
1answer
154 views

How can we translate this sentence into chinese? [closed]

Can you tell me the structure and grammar of the sentence? In the main new effort presented inthis paper, an approach is developed for integrating the PSO algorithm as a driver at both the top ...
6
votes
1answer
307 views

Dissimilation of bilabial finals following Middle Chinese (法, 品, 凡)

Middle Chinese syllables with the shape CVP where C is a bilabial stop and P is a bilabial underwent dissimilation to CVF, where F = P[-labial]. For instance, Baxter's reconstruction of 法 is *pjop, 品 ...
2
votes
1answer
333 views

Translation of Chinese word is not an English word?

This is really strange. Dictionary.com says "obdurability" isn't a word in English, but it is the ONLY translation for "强韧" in Pleco (my Chinese-English dictionary). Google.com has tons of results, ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

List of hanzi and their components

I would like to be able to compute the distance between 2 hanzi according to their components. My idea is that a hanzi like 式 is made of 工 and 弋. 2 hanzi are close if they share common components. ...
2
votes
1answer
239 views

Is this a translation of 逍遥游?

I think this is from 逍遥游, but I'm not sure. I just can't locate the following sentence. Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as too little, nor the great as too ...
9
votes
2answers
693 views

Is there a literal meaning of 对不起?

对不起 is one of the first phrases any student learns. We learn it as a set phrase, and don't question why it has this meaning. But we also learn the phrases; 听得懂 - "hear and understand" 听不懂 - ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Using 變音 when reading Classical Chinese poetry in Cantonese

The poem 《登鸛雀樓》 (Climbing Stork Tower) has the final line 更上一層樓. If I were to read this in Cantonese, would I pronounce the final character as lau4 (without 變音), or lau2 (with 變音)? My guess would be ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

How can I skip characters I can't read when reading aloud?

As an example, I was at the cinema and I wanted to buy tickets for a film named 北京遇上西雅图 However, I can't read all of the characters. In English I'd say; Can I get a ticket for that film "北京*...
7
votes
4answers
606 views

How would one say “my computer died”?

I know 关掉 to mean "turn off" but it doesn't seem to convey the sudden-ness or unwelcome connotation of "died". 突然关掉 is more precise but still seems to lack the negitivity. Also, as this is a common ...
4
votes
3answers
686 views

Translating the idiom “thinking outside the box”

I normally hate overused catchphrases in English, like "paradigm shift" and "out of the box thinking". But I was recently chatting (in Chinese) with a friend about an earlier situation in which ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Is it possible to use the verb particle 过 for future events?

I know it's possible to the use perfective aspect particle 了 for future events, eg: 你家少爷长大了准能当个二流子。 I have yet to find example of similar occurrences with 过. Is it even possible to use it in ...
2
votes
3answers
235 views

Translating the word “feelings” for conversational use

When I look for a dictionary translation of "feelings", I see two translations: 情怀 and 情面. Which of these two would be better suited to translate the following sentence The woman rhetorically ...
6
votes
5answers
640 views

Could you explain the structure of this sentence?

The sentence 我吃饭的时候看了一本书。 apparently has two verbs (吃 and 看), but I can’t see how the two actions are correlated. Could anyone explain that?
5
votes
2answers
308 views

Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

How can I pronounce 绿 (lü4 - green)?

My wife gave up trying to correct me on how to pronounce green. I find it very hard to get a distinct sound from the word for 绿 (lü4 - green), Lu, and, Liu (as in Liu Bei). Obviously, Lu is exactly ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

How to say the term “招” and “式” in English?

It's used as a classifier, like this: "亢龙有悔"是"降龙十八掌"中的*一招*. and *一招一式*他都记得清清楚楚. So how to say it in English?
3
votes
2answers
342 views

Cantonese jyutping Tone 4 question “throat should be vibrating”

I was wondering whether anyone could help me distinguish how to pronounce tone 4 (mostly low flat) and tone 3 (mid flat). I read in tone 4, you should feel your throat vibrate. Honestly, I have my ...
8
votes
3answers
343 views

我也住在這裡 or 我也住這裡

I'm quite confused with using 在 in a sentence. I learned that it usually indicates a place or a location. I'm trying to say "I also live here". I thought that since I'm referring to a place, maybe I ...
9
votes
2answers
410 views

What's a precise definition of 人家

I've gathered from context, that “人家” can be used like “我” with the following differences: "人家" seems more immature/cute. I often hear it in cartoons or children's shows or said by children in ...
5
votes
4answers
220 views

央行行长会: Is the second 行 necessary?

央行行长会 - A Meeting of the Heads of Central Banks. Is the second 行 necessary? If not why not? Does 央行长 mean "Head of a Central Bank" or is it necessary to say the equivalent of "Bank-Head of a Central ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does 三八 mean gossip?

I've heard in 广东 (guangdong) the term 三八 to mean "gossip", particularly for a woman who gossips. Is this common throughout China, and why does it have this meaning?
7
votes
2answers
503 views

What is the classical Chinese meaning of 或?

I am reading a text that uses the following phrase: 或謂鄭相曰 I understand it generally to mean that someone told to the prime minister of Zheng saying However, I don't understand exactly ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Learning Traditional first with the goal of learning both

I found this in the Mandarin wikibook: "It is considered easier for people who learn Traditional to read both sets than people who learn Simplified only, but Simplified characters are less ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?

Since I have some experience of using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), I thought Standard Chinese transcriptions could be a good resource for practicing my pronunciation. Is such a resource ...
5
votes
4answers
272 views

How do I practise grouping characters into words? At which stage of learning should one expect to be good at this?

I just got the following sentence in a newsletter: 请问我可以跟你借支笔吗? Being a beginner that I am, I read it as "Can I please get one pay-check in advance?" because I saw this in my dictionary: 借支 = "...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

Differentiating “to do a burnout” and “burning tyres”

"To do a burnout" is 烧胎, so I assume a reasonable sentence would be: 昨天晚上我在停车场烧胎。 How would one distinguish this activity from piling up tyres and setting fire to them, for example in this news ...
1
vote
4answers
301 views

Better translation for 春节联欢晚会 than New Year's Gala

On the night of New Years Eve in China many people watch the annual New Year's Gala. This in Chinese is called 春节联欢晚会 in English this is translated as New Year's Gala. So what exactly is a 联欢晚会? Can ...
6
votes
3answers
372 views

What does 嘞 mean

I actually suspect that this character may be a typo for ”了“, but I'll ask nevertheless. What is the second character in this snippet?: I managed to write it into my pocket dictionary, it simply ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

Is the traditional character for 雪 the same as itself?

Is the traditional character for ? Or are both and considered the same character (汉字) with simply different font styles?
7
votes
4answers
573 views

What was this online dictionary's name with ancient traditional and simplified characters and etymology?

I once found a Mandarin Chinese dictionary which for each character listed the ancient, the traditional and the simplified Chinese characters. For each it described its meaning and how it developed ...
6
votes
3answers
199 views

Early childhood Chinese language immersion accent exposure

Is it important for young children (4 or 5 years old) in a Chinese language immersion program to be exposed to more than one type of Mandarin accent? If the child only hears one accent (and one that ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Who exactly is a 干妈

This dictionary translates 干妈 as "Godmother", and my pocket dictionary also gives "nominal mother". In English, "Godmother" and "Godfather" are very specific titles - Your Godparents are the people ...
1
vote
3answers
246 views

Chinese tattoo help [closed]

I want a tattoo saying 時間 (time). However I was told this is not suitable for a tattoo. I wanted to know how to say time in chinese with a deep meaning. Is there a way to add a character so that it ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

What is the etymology of 放我一马?

I've heard this a couple times now and most recently in a movie "钢的琴". It's an idiom that means "cut me some slack"; "let me off the hook". I couldn't make sense of the Baidu encyclopedia so I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
740 views

Advice on Mandarin Chinese passive learning

What are the best Chinese online tv channels with english subtitles for passive Mandarin learning. I find Chinese a rather musical language and would love to watch subbed tv (news, documentaries, ...

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